How can we empower educators?

I used to have several experiences of a broken projector which stopped me lecturing properly, thinking about it now seems quite comical. Before I studied the SEJ Process I used to get so wound up and worried about my performance as a lecturer and how it would appear to the group of ‘impressionable’ young people. All I needed to do was to calmly sort out the projector and get on with it!

In contrast, about 3 years ago in one of my 2 hour lectures the projector actually broke. Kaput! I was in mid flow when it made a whirring noise and stopped. There was nothing I could do, I called IT support but was told no one was available. I was a bit taken aback but had the awareness to take a step back and quickly used the SEJ process.  In accepting the situation, I then found a belief about being a perfect ‘presenter/lecturer’, I went through the 4 steps of the SEJ and came to a solution…

RUN THE LECTURE WITHOUT POWERPOINT!!!!

I could feel the class looking at me but I was also aware that the first row of students heard me verbally go through the SEJ process and were intently waiting for me to act upon the solution.

I took a deep breath, smiled and started from where I left off earlier. There was a whiteboard so I COULD write something if it was appropriate. The lecture was slower and more interactive they posed a question I would answer, I would pose a question and we would discuss possible answers.

Time passed quickly as I was focussed (having no prompt I needed to be), and the students seemed far more engaged. There is a saying ‘death by Powerpoint’ which means that an excessive number of slides, full of details can numb and disengage the audience. Well, this was back to an old-fashioned style of teaching.

We managed to cover what was intended, class dismissed and as they were leaving one of them came up to me, smiled broadly, and asked what I meant what I was muttering to myself. I explained that I wanted to ask what the best and the most loving outcome would be for the class. He and his friends looked at me deeply and said slowly that it was one of the most enjoyable and inspiring class they had attended.

In that 2 hours I went from a teacher with a limiting belief about her own ‘performance’ to an educator who sought to find the loving and empowering experience for all. Applying the SEJ Process sorted my experience of the broken projector and its projection and so much more. You may find, just as I found out that Life only needs YOU and the SEJ, no projector or 30 perfectly colour coded slides!

Dr M Howard-Kishi

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